Who are you?
Many of us wander through life without truly taking the time to discern who we are. We don’t know our values, nor what we want in life, nor where we’re headed.
We’re stuck simply being, and ignorant to the fact that this being is out of line with what we really want or who we really are. If we were to live our true life, the life our soul is begging us to live, we wouldn’t feel the sadness nor the weight of despair that so many feel but can’t shake.
This past year has been somewhat a year of discovery for me. It’s been a year of devoid of comfort, and a life outside of our zones of comfort is a great thing. It’s when you’re uncomfortable that you realize how strong you truly are and what’s important. (read this article: the Meaning of Life)
I started the year in Vancouver, but within a month and a half I was in Rome, then traveling throughout the north of Italy, dipping into Scotland, and after 3 months I was once again home.
Then, however, I went out to Calgary for a month to spend time with my Godson and my pal’s family, and the itch that I felt before Italy once again came. A month later I found myself waking up in Buenos Aires, after which I flew to Ushuaia, and started working my way up to the north of Argentina.
After this stint, Salta, Jujuy, and Iguazu, I’ll be back in Buenos Aires, then to Uruguary, then home. Travel for the sake of travel isn’t the point, it’s not the mission.
In fact, one of the worst things about traveling is that you meet people who are traveling. They’re pinching every penny, living a vagabond, hippie lifestyle, and as soon as you start to talk about business or making an impact or a mission in life, their eyes gloss over. Not all of them, but many of them.
One of the BEST parts about traveling is actually the same fact. Many other people I’ve met in my adventures are grabbing life by the balls and getting out of the monotonous life that isn’t in line with who they are.
Travel has forced me to face fears and go far beyond my comfort zone. It’s enabled me to discover new ways of life that have only strengthened my values and beliefs and view of the world.
If there’s one truth in this life, it’s that man has immense power, far more power than he realizes, no matter where he starts, and realizing this power begins with realizing who he is and what he really wants.
It’s not an easy process either. We’re bombarded daily by visions of what other people want us to be, to like, to thirst for. We’re pulled in many a direction, ultimately away from who we are within our souls. This will help: 6 Steps to Get Out of a Funk.
It starts with solitude.
It’s something we don’t want to hear because we fear being alone. We become uncomfortable in silence when we’re forced to confront the thoughts that swirl in our heads like bees around a hive. It’s within solitude, however, that in time we’re able to hear our true voice devoid of the other voices making impressions on our minds, pulling us away from who we are and why we’re here.
On this most recent trip I’ve been blessed with the most solitude; cabins in the Andes, empty mansions in the jungles overlooking towns in the north, huts on the beaches of Uruguay – those are soon to come. It’s within this solitude that I’ve found strength I didn’t know I had, worked through problems I didn’t know existed, and finally met the man that I look at in the mirror daily.
While he isn’t completely clear, he’s still being slightly motivated by idols and heroes, movies and books, his likeness is becoming clearer, and his purpose the same.
Article: How to Conquer Loneliness
Here’s where things begin to get real…
The cigar is down to its last few puffs, the flask once filled with whiskey, down to its last drops, and the glasses of wine are long dried, emptied of their delicious nectar. Yes, I’m writing drunk, the editing will take care of the mistakes, but the truth that comes from a slightly less-than-sober mind shan’t be altered.
It’s within cities that we are surrounded, yet it’s within said cities that we won’t find solitude.
Throughout my travels I’ve gone through towns of 80 people to cities of 8 million. It’s in these small towns where space is abundant and the sound of silence deafening, that we are where we, as men, are meant to be. Yet it’s in this solitude, in our huts or homes or cabins, that we are less alone than we are in the cities of millions because we have the only companion we need for self discovery; the Self.
Within the confines or gates of a city we can’t be alone, truly alone, and yet feelings of loneliness are rampant in cities where suicide rates elevate and true community is non-existent. We’re amongst many yet connected, truly connected to few.
Driving into a town, a small town, that you’re not from and you’re immediately labelled an outsider, which is a wondrous thing. The entire town knows someone new is here and they’ve yet to determine if you’re welcome or not.
It’s within these towns that each person is held accountable for their actions because if they act out of line the entire town will know about it, and if they do something truly heinous, the entire town will stand against them and the place they love will no longer be a place they’re welcome.
All that is besides the point and maybe the whiskey talking about my growing fondness for small towns in the country where the air is fresh and the people are true.
They are true. True to themselves, able to escape the pressures that much of society aims to place upon us because those pressures don’t venture too far beyond the cities that dominate commerce and business, yet here I write in a town of 100 inhabitants, perched upon a mountain with a 19th century mansion at my back and I’m happier than ever, though I’m completely alone.
A few years ago this wouldn’t have been possible, this happiness in solitude.
I would wake up and immediately put on some music so the silence wouldn’t force me to actually think and be with that Self that’s still being constructed and construed.
Finding yourself isn’t ever the mission, though that’s what we all aim to do. Nay, we create ourself, of course, we forge ourselves through trials and tribulation that either break us and make us stronger, or simply make us stronger, truer to that lad we were supposed to be so many years ago before the influences of the world took hold and we lost our way.
When we explore the world, even our own communities with an inquisitive mind, we explore ourselves. We search to find what we like and don’t like, what we stand for and what we’re not willing to stand for. We see where we are, our strength or lack-there-of. This poses the problem many of us are faced with at this very moment: Do we improve, get stronger, better, truer to ourselves, or do we cave.
Most of you will cave, and that may be true for myself, though I’m intent on it not being so. Some of you, however, won’t cave, you’ll find those things you hold most important and stand by them, on them, when the rest of society goes the way of ease and cowardice. We may stand on the outskirts, confined to an area where only true warriors can stand, and we may stand alone, but we’ll stand as us, who we are, not giving two fucks about whether or not that’s in line with what society wants of us, it’s who we’re here to be and we must do what we’re here to do.
And it starts with exploration.
Don’t hold on to what you now know.
When people travel they say it opens up your mind, and I agree, but you don’t need to travel to have an open mind, books will do just fine in aiding you in this endeavor. And what you find as you travel more and more is the value of a home, a place to stay, to be in, to exist in, with silence and noise, solitude and company.
Travel has only strengthened my beliefs, which is an important thing to note. Who I was when I left, packed my bags and books and headed out into the world, was who I am, it just wasn’t who I am enough.
I needed to walk paths that scared me. I needed to go out into the unknown to truly know what I now know. And if this little article does anything for you – and I’m determined not to put down bullets or ‘how to’s’ in this one – it will encourage you to take paths your soul is calling you to take, paths that you fear, that make you uneasy, for it’s these paths that will lead you back to the path you were once on as a wide-eyed wee one.
It’s the path of play, of joy, of awe in the simple things in life that we take for granted. It’s the path back to strength, conviction of your values and morals and the truth you know and hold close, about who you are and why you’re here.
So seek solitude, be alone, in danger, in audacity and stupidity, and make that man vivid. Make it so the man you see in the mirror is the man you were placed here to become.
Try this one: Where Men Win Glory